Tom Coughlin is gone. Shad Khan and the Jaguars announced Wednesday evening that Tom Coughlin would be relieved of his duties as Executive Vice President, effective immediately. This after a scathing letter from the NFLPA that warned future free agents about signing with the Jaguars.
But now that Coughlin is no longer the football boss, some critical questions will need to be answered over the next several months. These questions are seemingly countless, but here I'll take a look at the five most crucial questions.
Will Doug Marrone keep his job?
The fact that Tom Coughlin was the only member of the Jaguars' football triumvirate that got the ax on Wednesday, at least in some way suggests that Doug Marrone could potentially keep his job. The Jags have two games remaining on their schedule, both of which should be winnable. If Marrone goes 1-1 or 2-0, will it be enough to convince Shad Khan to keep him around?
And what about Dave Caldwell?
Dave Caldwell has been the Jaguars' general manager since 2013. He's selected some of the worst first-round picks in team history but has also hit home runs throughout the draft. How will he be judged regarding the last three years? Does Caldwell get a pass for the Blake Bortles and Nick Foles debacles because Tom Coughlin was the one pulling the trigger? Would the Jaguars have hedged their bets at QB over the last three seasons had Caldwell been calling the shots? These are questions that Shad Khan will need to find the answers to. And his findings will likely determine Dave Caldwell's fate.
Is Gardner Minshew a building block?
Over the next two games, Garnder Minshew will need to continue to show improvement, primarily from the pocket. The young QB can improvise and make off-schedule plays with the best of them. But he needs to show he can grow as a pocket QB. He needs to get the ball out on time and accurately. And he needs to play better early on in games. If Minshew does play well over the next two games, it will help solidify him as a QB the Jaguars can continue to build around. If he struggles, it could give whoever is making the football decisions pause about rolling with Minshew into 2020.
What will happen with Nick Foles?
Nick Foles should not be considered for the Jaguars' starting QB job. But his salary in 2020 would be astronomical for a backup QB. So what will the Jaguars do with Nick Foles? They could try to trade him, but what team would be desperate enough to take on that contract? Perhaps Foles could retire, giving the Jaguars an easy out.
Will Yannick Ngakoue get a new contract before free agency?
Free agency begins, in earnest, on March 16th of next year. Players won't be permitted to sign with new teams until the 18th, but that won't stop agents and teams from getting all the details ironed out beforehand. The single most crucial roster decision for the Jaguars is what to do with Yan. Getting Yannick Ngakoue back to Jacksonville for the 2020 season and beyond is, in my estimation, imperative. Whoever is making the football decisions in Jacksonville should prioritize locking Ngakoue up long term. But at the very least, the Jaguars could franchise tag their star pass rusher — if that is indeed the route they take, the Jags will need to place the tag on Ngakoue prior to 4 pm on March 10th.
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